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Published December 15, 2011, 11:30 PM

Holt: Self-talk helps keep me going

I’ve never run a marathon, a half-marathon, a 10k, or even a 5k. During my weight-loss journey, I’ve hit several plateaus. Some lasted months. I’ve even gained weight back.

By: Meredith Holt, INFORUM

I’ve never run a marathon, a half-marathon, a 10k, or even a 5k.

During my weight-loss journey, I’ve hit several plateaus. Some lasted months. I’ve even gained weight back.

I’ve had setbacks, such as colds, a kidney stone and a recurring knee injury. I’ve struggled with self-doubt. But I’ve worked through those things and kept going.

There are many days when I don’t want to go to the gym for one reason or another – I’m tired, I’m stressed, I’m busy, I have a headache – but I go anyway.

I work nights, so I usually go sometime between 1 and 4 a.m. Weather doesn’t stop me, either (the New Year’s Day blizzard was an exception). I’ve gotten stuck at the gym during snowstorms, thunderstorms and tornado warnings.

Getting there is the hardest part. Walking through the door is next. I know I’ll be OK once I lace up.

I’ll never win my battle with food, but I think I’ve got the fitness thing down.

I don’t claim to be perfect. Far from it. But in the past 20 months, I’ve (mostly) stuck to my Magic Five: five hourlong workouts a week. The fewest was three, when I was on vacation in Oregon.

So, what motivates me? What keeps me going? Well, it takes a lot of self-talk. Here are some of the things that work for me:

  • “Just get to the gym and see how it goes.” “Just go.” “Just do it.” (Thanks, Nike!)

  • “You’ll feel better afterward.” I always feel better after a workout. Endorphins! Plus it provides a sense of accomplishment.

  • “Life happens.” Try to keep exercise as a constant, no matter what’s going on in your life. Working out helps me relieve stress, clear my mind and focus on the next thing.

  • “Look at how far you’ve come.” But don’t lose sight of how far you want to go.

  • “This is what you have to do to get what you want.” I know what I want, and I know how to get it. I also know it’s a long, hard road to get there. Then I’ll have to maintain.

    Which leads me to:

  • “You have to do this for the rest of your life, so you better get used to it.” My tough-love approach.

  • “Five more minutes,” or “One more set.” Keep pushing yourself and you’ll be done before you know it. Those sets and minutes add up.

  • “If they can do it, I can, too.” Other people’s success stories can provide encouragement and inspiration.

  • “Now matters.” I’d give anything to undo the mistakes I’ve made, but I can’t. All I can do is focus on the now.

    With that in mind:

  • “Eyes forward, mind forward, heart forward.” Onward!


    Forum copy editor Meredith Holt will share stories of her weight-loss journey in her column, which will run the third Friday of each month in SheSays.

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